International aid agency Oxfam Australia has welcomed a new government report showing that good aid works, saying it highlights the importance of meeting Australia’s commitment to grow the overseas aid program.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said the Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness 2011-2012, released overnight by Foreign Minister Bob Carr, outlined how Australia’s overseas aid program has improved the lives of millions of poor people around the world.
“This review shows there is a solid foundation to continue investing in Australia’s aid program and to make good on its promise to the world’s poor to increase aid to 0.5 per cent of our national income by 2016,” Dr Szoke said.
“As we head towards the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, which include targets to halve extreme poverty and hunger, we encourage all sides of politics to make a greater effort to tackle global poverty,” she said.
“With Prime Minister Julia Gillard serving as co-chair of the Millennium Development Goals advocacy group, Australia has an important leadership role to play in ensuring progress towards the international anti-poverty goals.”
Dr Szoke said while it was positive to see the review confirm the effectiveness of Australia’s overseas aid program, it was disappointing this had not prevented the Australian Government from cutting $375 million from aid programs overseas to pay for asylum seekers costs at home.
“This review proves that good aid helps to save lives and improve opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people around the world. It’s a real shame the Government has chosen to cut $375 million from this good work in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“In the lead-up to the September election, Oxfam is calling on our nation’s political leaders to not forget to help the poorest and most vulnerable, in Australia and overseas.”
For interviews or more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Chee Chee Leung on 0412 560 584 or firstname.lastname@example.org